Patterns of Disease
By the time disease erupts, often more than one Dosha is involved. Nevertheless, the qualities of the Doshas can be compared to the qualities that characterize the disease and used as a guide to identify which Dosha is the chief culprit. Diseases involving a single Dosha are generally curable. Those involving two Doshas can usually be treated, even if the treatment is difficult. When all three Doshas are involved, palliation may be possible, but because of the inter-relationships among them, the treatment of any one will tend to aggravate one or more of the others. That’s a situation we would all want to avoid.
Dosha imbalance often manifests as indigestion. Because healthy digestion is essential for making healthy tissues, we always give priority to fixing indigestion. The digestion questionnaire will help identify which Dosha might be causing problems there. If a Dosha is disturbing digestion, then it will likely be contributing to problems elsewhere.
Vata Dosha, having qualities of Space and Air, is the most ethereal of the Doshas. For this reason, it is the one that is most likely to go out of balance. Vata causes twice as many diseases as Pitta. In turn, Pitta causes twice as many diseases as Kapha. Kapha is inherently stable, so it is difficult to throw it out of balance. When Kapha does get aggravated, it most likely manifests as a problem with weak digestion and Ama. Other symptoms related to disturbances of the functions of Kapha most often result from Vata or Pitta moving into its place. So, when in doubt, if Ama is not prominent, assume the problem is related to Vata or Pitta
Pitta imbalance is typically characterized by redness, burning sensations, heat or inflammation. Vata imbalance will typically manifest as irregularity, pain, dryness or weakness. Think of stress. Stress is one of the major causes of disease. Stress hits hard on that aspect of Vata involved with the mind. It also depletes Ojas, the source of strength, vitality and immunity. Meditation such as TM provides an antidote. This is one mechanism accounting for its effectiveness in promoting health in a holistic way. Beyond this, the best long term strategy is to recognize and deal with imbalances of the Doshas before they lead to problems.
A pulse reading is the most accurate method to assess for imbalance, but this brief questionnaire is an easy place to start. It catalogues common results of imbalances in Vata, Pitta and Kapha.